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Strikeforce Deathwatch: Lightweight Champion Gilbert Melendez Called up to the Big Leagues


This is the face one makes when he realizes that Cyborg Santos is now his most marketable champion.

Some of you may have been surprised when you read that the UFC has apparently called Bigfoot Silva up to the majors. Not only was he coming off of a loss, but there were better fighters out there for the UFC to call up. Well, don’t worry. The UFC has called up arguably Strikeforce’s best fighter, lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez, according to a report on MMAJunkie.com. Melendez was scheduled to defend his title against Jorge Masvidal on December 17, but it is yet to be seen how this announcement will affect that. So yeah, don’t worry about the UFC not calling up Strikeforce’s best, most deserving fighters. Unless you love Strikeforce and don’t want to see it go under. Then by all means keep panicking.

The date of his UFC debut, as well as his opponent, has yet to be determined. However, according to the aforementioned report there is the possibility that Gilbert Melendez will get an immediate title shot. If that’s the case, I can’t really make sense out of that. Nick Diaz getting an immediate title shot made sense, given that Georges St. Pierre essentially cleaned out the welterweight division. However, the lightweight division is arguably the UFC’s strongest, deepest weight class. There are already plenty of contenders for the winner of the upcoming rubber match between Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard. Then again, there’s also the possibility that the Donovan McNabb will lead the Minnesota Vikings to the Super Bowl, so let’s not read too much into what’s possible.

This move shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. We’ve said it before, and it deserves to be said again: Being a Strikeforce champion is essentially being in the on-deck circle for the UFC. Gilbert Melendez, currently riding a five fight win streak with notable victories over Josh Thomson and Shinya Aoki, has essentially cleaned out Strikeforce’s lightweight division. If there’s nothing left for him in Strikeforce, and we’re officially finished pretending that Strikeforce has plans to grow as an organization, then why keep him in the minor leagues?

As for the scheduled bout with Jorge Masvidal, I say let Jorge fight Pat Healy on December 17th. Let it be for all the Rockstar energy drinks that the winner desires. And don’t declare the winner your “new lightweight champion”. It can only end with the winner on the prelims of an upcoming UFC card and you frantically trying to find a new champion.

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Mofo- October 3, 2011 at 9:06 am
Gil "Ferengi" Menendez can eat a bowl of dick up. He's goin down, FINALLY.
jimbonics- October 3, 2011 at 7:14 am
Exactly what Shifty said. Winner of Guida Henderson DESERVES a title shot. Gil can back da fuck up.
Shifty-Eyed Dog- October 3, 2011 at 6:49 am
This immediate title shot stuff is BS. Henderson, Guida, and several others currently in the UFC deserve a title shot before this guy. You wanna bring him over? fine. But let him wait in line like everyone else.
Daddy_jeffy- October 3, 2011 at 5:10 am
When I first saw the picture, I thought,"Damn, Gilbert is going to have a rough weight cut ahead of him."
Me likey- October 3, 2011 at 5:07 am
way overhyped. let him fight winner of guida vs henderson on a vs or spike free card. have it be a 5 rd main event #1 contender match and see what he is really made of.
RearNakedSpoon- October 3, 2011 at 5:01 am
Ok so maybe it's not business as usual for Strikeforce but at least they are getting a slow death that people can plan for instead of an instant one that see's everyone out on their ass overnight.
RSparrow- October 2, 2011 at 11:26 pm
Agreed. Don't take this kid lightly, very well rounded
Todd M- October 2, 2011 at 9:07 pm
^ No love for El Nino huh? I like this news I 've wanted to see Gilbert face tougher competition for a long time and I think he could make a run for the belt. I also think Gil should fight the winner of Guida vs Henderson, and you could make that a no 1 contendor match.
dranokills- October 2, 2011 at 7:08 pm
I think Gilbert thinks hes jack the giant killer. Hell he was first to throw a punch at Mayhem Miller, I saw have a catch weight fight let Gilbert weight whatever the fuck he wants, and have Mayhem come in and smash him like Gilbert grape. Fuck that mexican't.
RwilsonR- October 2, 2011 at 5:04 pm
As much as I think Gil will quickly be put in his place somewhere outside of the top 5 at LW, since I think he is extremely overrated, I also think an immediate title shot might make sense given how jacked up the UFC LW division is outside of Edgar/Maynard. Guida I'd on a roll, but still isn't far and away a #1 contender. With Miller losing, he drops down. There are a lot of guys sitting near contendership, but no clear cut #1.
newdeal- October 2, 2011 at 3:43 pm
I actually think the UFC had the plans to run Strikeforce as usual but when people started saying Monopoly the deal was at risk or being overturned so they started the process of dismantling it so that if it actually did happen to go further than just people complaining they would have everything they wanted from the organization already

leukemic bylesho were my captcha...now I have yet another non-word in my dictionary as it is auto added. I hate this especially since it doesn't even work
CanadianGreaser- October 2, 2011 at 3:00 pm
Strikeforce should be kept around for all of those UFC guys who get cut, in order to give them a chance to rebuild their careers.

For example, when Dan Hardy gets cuts, send him to Strikeforce to fight 2 or 3 cans.
noizy- October 2, 2011 at 2:47 pm
In all fairness to Dana, they aren't co-promoting.
exect4500- October 2, 2011 at 1:50 pm
They'll probably give him winner of Guida Henderson.
skeletor- October 2, 2011 at 1:14 pm
Good. People can cry about a monopoly all day and say that competition is good for the sport. Fuck all that, I want to see these guys fight each other and the only organization with enough power to make that happen is the UFC. It is to the point now that you can not claim to be one of the best in your division unless you are in the UFC. Sorry Eddie Alvarez it's time to sack up and move to the big leagues.
Viva Hate- October 2, 2011 at 12:32 pm
People are just overreacting, this is business as usual.........for the UFC.
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